There's nothing like a good challenge and with that in mind we set off on Monday to scale England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike, from Langdale. Despite over 30 years of walking in the lakes, the ascent from Langdale is one that has evaded me, mainly because I've thought there were easier ways to reach such dizzy heights!
We set off from the Old Dungeon Gill car park soon after 10.00am and after what seemed like a never ending climb up beside Rossett Gill, reached the tranquil waters of Angle Tarn at about 12.00. Of course a quick paddle was in order before setting off again up to Esk Hause and then in to the clouds and a boulder strewn and rough ascent to the summit. Small dogs would find this route very tough!
After a few minutes of being the highest dog and dog owner in England we descended the way we had come, returning once again to the banks of Angle Tarn. This time, the dog enjoyed an extended paddle and swim before we once again set off for the final descent.
A few minutes in to the final stretch of our hike it was clear the dog was struggling and a brief inspection revealed a cut to his pad, probably gained during his watery playtime. Fortunately, the first aid kit was to hand and after some improvised bandaging we slowly (and probably uncomfortably for him) made our way back to the car, arriving back soon after six. It's the first time I've ever used my first aid kit on the fells and I confess that it hadn't really occurred to me that I'd be using it on the dog. There's a lesson in there somewhere for more adventurous owners!
All in all a good days walking, despite the injury. Definitely not a walk I'd put in a "dog walks" category though and consequently I'll not give it a score. Think of it as a mountain challenge and you'll not go far wrong.
Thanks to the new Lake District for Dogs website for giving us the idea. We planned our route and navigated through the clouds using route details from Walkingworld
In case you're wondering, the dog is fine. He'll be restricted to light grass walking for the next week or so though, so plenty of time for me to recover!